Divorce Family Law

Has Halle Berry Called Off Her Divorce?

Has Halle Berry called off her divorce from estranged husband Olivier Martinez?

That looks to be the case. Just recently a divorce court clerk sent a notice to the actress and thought-to-be ex-husband asking for the couple to either move forward or else have the case dismissed.

Last year the couple looked to be heading towards divorce, but a year later it seems the case might be dismissed. According to sources close to the couple, neither party is in a rush to finalize the papers. Additionally, the couple has committed to co-parenting both 3-year-old Maceo and 8-year-old Nahla. 

There are many reasons that couples choose to stay together.

Cancelling a Divorce


Just because a couple begins divorce proceedings, that does not mean they have to continue and complete a divorce. In fact, a divorce can even be called off once all the paperwork has been filed.

Stopping a divorce once the paperwork has been filed is dependent on the intentions of both spouses. Namely, both spouses need to agree why the divorce is being cancelled. Both spouses also need to agree to get back together and officially cancel the divorce.

The next consideration is where the paperwork is in the process of the filing. If a judgment has not been formally issued then the parties can stop the divorce upon mutual agreement. Naturally, it’s better to stop the divorce earlier in the process, rather than once it has gone through the majority of the process.

Request to Withdraw Divorce Petition

If both parties have agreed to cancel the divorce, the couple next needs to file a request to withdraw their divorce petition. This may require additional filing fees and court costs, and may also require that the couple attends counseling or mediation so that a court can determine if the decision to cancel the divorce is not only mutual, but based on a sound agreement.

Finalizing Withdrawal

Once the withdrawal is finalized, all divorce proceedings are cancelled, and the couple remains legally married. Property returns to being considered community property and any child custody agreements are cancelled.

Issues to Consider

There are some additional considerations to take if you wish to stop the divorce hearings. They include the following:

  • A spouses can change his or her mind at any point and continue with the divorce
  • Were there any reasons for why a spouse might have considered full custody, such as abuse or neglect? Do these issues need to be resolved before the couple can continue their marriage?

Pretending to Stop the Divorce

Sometimes a couple will pretend to stop the divorce in an attempt to delay the finalization of the divorce. This can be for any number of reasons. Falsely attempting to cancel a divorce may be considered divorce fraud and will be subject to investigation. The party attempting to falsely stop a divorce may face legal consequences, such as contempt of court or even criminal charges. This is why a court will often require counseling or mediation in order to determine that the couple actually wants to continue their marriage.

Another Option – Legal Separation

While divorce might seem like the only option, remember that legal separation is also available. Legal separation allows couples to live apart and take a “break” from each other, while also ensuring that each spouse’s legal rights are protected via a legal separation agreement. Legal separations can also be called: “judicial separation”, “separate maintenance”, “divorce a mensa et thoro“, or “divorce from bed-and-board.” All these terms refer to the legal process by which a married couple formalizes a de facto separation while remaining legally married.

Formal Legal Separation Agreement


It’s always advised that you sign a formal legal separation agreement. This agreement outlines child support and visitation, property division, and any other aspect of a marriage.  An attorney will be able to prepare this legal and binding document. This will offer you legal protection should your spouse fail to live up to his or her obligations and will also hold up in court.

The following should be included in the legal separation agreement:

Spousal Support

Benefits – With legal separation spouses are able to retain certain benefits that were available during the marriage, such as health insurance.

Home Residency – If a couple shares a home, it should be decided at this time what will happen to the residency during the separation. The agreement should include information regarding who is able to live in the home, who is responsible for maintaining the home, and who is financially handling the home.

Joint Accounts – A legal separation agreement outlines who has access to those joint accounts such as joint checking, savings, and credit accounts. It’s often advised to close or freeze these accounts during the separation. Each spouse will then need to obtain their own personal accounts.

Protection from Acquired Debt – A legal separation agreement will shield you from being responsible for debt acquired during the time of the legal separation.

Why Pursue Legal Separation?

There are advantages with legal separation, including:

  • Spouses are able to maintain benefits such as a spouse’s health care plan or military benefits.
  • Staying legally married for 10 years allows couples certain social security benefits.
  • The separation period allows for a “cool off time,” during which parties can work to resolve their differences. Couples can then decide to either pursue a divorce or resume the marriage.
  • In some religions divorce is not allowed or recognized. Legal separation allows these religious couples to live separate lives while still remaining married and true their faith.
  • Legal separation can be used to solve immediate problems in couples who are uncertain about moving forward with divorce.

Steps to Follow for Legal Separation

Here are the steps you will take to acquire a legal separation:

  • Consider working with a family law attorney that can advise you on all the necessary steps of your legal separation.
  • You and your spouse will need to decide on grounds for the separation
  • Fill out a Form FL-100 Petition. This form includes options for divorce (dissolution of marriage) or legal separation.
  • If you have children under 18, you will need to complete Form FL-105/GC-120 which provides information to the court regarding children.
  • File Form FL-100 at your local county court. Pay any necessary fees. If you receive public benefits or have low income, you might be eligible for a fee waiver.
  • Serve your spouse with a copy of the court papers if they were not filed together. There will need to be proof of the serving, which can be done through various means such as a process server. A family law attorney can advise you on how to obtain this proof.

Still Considering Divorce?

If following your legal separation you and your spouse decide to move forward with a divorce, you will still need to file a divorce petition and go through the formal divorce process. Since a legal separation agreement has already been created and you mutually agree all aspects of your marriage, chances are you will be able to file an uncontested divorce. If there are still unresolved issues, you might decide you need a court’s help to come to a decision. It’s important to remember though that just because you are legally separated, that does not mean you are officially divorced. A judge will need to sign off on the final divorce papers and agreement before you can declare yourself “single.”

Working with a Divorce Attorney

It’s always advised that you consider working with a family law attorney. They will be able to advise you on any number of issues, including: child support, spousal support, marital property division, child visitation, etc… A lawyer from the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA will be able to guide you through the divorce process. The Divorce & Family Law Offices of Divorce Law LA will provide you with the highest level of expertise and professionalism from our skilled attorneys. Our Divorce and Family Law Practice spans a wide spectrum of areas that include: divorce, high net-worth divorce, marital property division, child custody and visitation, and child support.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Divorce Family Law

Tweeting About Your Ex

Last week Halle Berry and Oivier Martinez announced they were divorcing after two years of marriage. In light of last week’s divorce announcement, Berry’s first husband, David Justice decided to announce his frustrations with the “Exant” star via Twitter.

Justice Takes to Twitter to Denounce His Ex

Though David Justice and Halle Berry divorced in 2007 after 4 years of marriage, he still felt the urge to rant about his ex on Twitter, posting this:

 “Me, (second husband) Eric (Benet), (boyfriend) Gabriel (Aubry) and Olivier were all her ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ until it ends. Then we all become the worst guys in history.”

But Justice wasn’t the only one of Berry’s exes to use social media to get stuff off his chest. Shortly after Justice posted his tweet, Berry’s second husband Eric Benet responded with:

“My man at @23davidjustice is tweeting some truth dis’ mornin’!”

Justice then went on to share some advice to Berry’s most recent ex, Olivier:

“Just wait,Olivier..It’s coming! She insinuated that her daughter wasn’t safe around Gabriel..look it up and see the reason!” he wrote, alluding to the custody battle between Berry  and her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry over their 7-year-old daughter, Nahla.

Berry and Martinez Divorce


Just a week ago Berry and Martinez, both 49, issued a joint statement announcing that“with a heavy heart” they had decided to end their relationship. The two were wed in 2013 after meeting on the set of Dark Tide in 2010. “We move forward with love and respect for one another and the shared focus for what is best for our son,” they said in the joint statement. “We wish each other nothing but happiness in life, and we hope that you respect our, and most importantly, our children’s privacy, as we go through this difficult period.”

Divorce on Social Media

While it seems that Berry’s exes have no problems posting their frustrations with her online, there are potential consequences for people that want to vent their unhappiness online. Whether updating a Facebook status to call out an ex-wife, or tweeting raves about a judge’s decision, people use social media platforms to tell the world about their lives… and their divorces.

But before you decided to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media, there are some things you need to know – namely how it could potentially affect your divorce and the judge’s decisions.

Social Media as Evidence in Divorce Court

Social media can be a valuable source of evidence in in family law cases involving divorce, child custody, and child support and visitation. It’s not uncommon for people to assume that their Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram photos and other social media activities are more private than they really are. Though people are becoming increasingly more aware of the fact that social media is not as private as they thought, people still continue to post information they otherwise would have never volunteered. This information includes: financial affairs, adultery, improper parenting, and even dangerous or illegal activities such as drug use. It’s all been seen on the internet, and it all still continues to be seen on the internet. 

“Privacy” and Divorce

Many users of social media believe their pages are “private” and thus should not be able to be used in a family law battle. In previous cases, people have claimed that their Facebook profiles should be excluded from judgement or as evidence because they are only shared among a small group of Facebook “friends.” Yet courts continue to reject this argument, determining that there is little to no reasonable expectation of privacy with regards to actions taken on a social media platform. Even creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has stated “privacy is no longer a social norm.”

It’s important to remember that while you can control your privacy settings, the information can still be easily shared. Sometimes parties going through domestic law cases “un-friend” the opposing party. Even then, information can still be shared through mutual friends and family members who are still able to see whatever you post. The information can also still be requested by an attorney. In previous cases such as Offenback v. Bowman, Barnes v. CUS Nashville, LLC, and Largent v. Reed judges have privately reviewed information to determine if information should be disclosed in a case.

Deleting Information

You or your ex-spouse might try to hide evidence by deleting it. But this can be dangerous too. Intentionally deleting information can be legally seen as the destruction of evidence. This can cause even more legal trouble in court. In the case of Lester v. Allied Concrete Co, the court fined both the defendant and his attorney for removing harmful posts and pictures on a Facebook page.

But how did they find out?

In our current social media age, it’s not uncommon for lawyers to take to social media to gather evidence when they are first hired for the case. Often times this means an attorney has social media information long before a person has time to delete or conceal the information. When this evidence “goes missing” and that fact becomes evident in a court of law, the deletion can have larger consequences than the original evidence.

How to Deal with an Ex


If your ex is continually bashing you online, try to focus on other things. Maybe it now the chance to prove you’re the bigger person by ignoring them.

Here’s some advice from those who have been through it before:

“Here’s my advice: Ignore it and consider the source. Giving him any satisfaction that he’s affecting you will only empower and embolden him to continue his childish tirades. Rise above it all, and show your daughter how a real adult behaves.”
– Diane D.
“The best revenge is to live a happy life. Remember when he bashes you, he is suffering. Smile and enjoy your freedom from this unkind man.”
– Maggie Z.
“I unfriended everyone we had in common, not in life, but on Facebook. I also blocked my ex and his now-wife and people that I knew to be an issue. It didn’t work all at once. It was a gradual change as I never responded to anything they said and I never said anything about them, but over time it seemed to work. And I really don’t care now. His reputation was very important to him, so he went to great lengths to make sure everyone that knows him thinks I am horrible. I just avoid those people and focus on my own life.”
– Heather P.
“I copied everything and printed it. I did block him after that. Judge was NOT happy about it. Of course we are civil now and different than we were over two years ago. But it is unacceptable behavior and it just makes him look horrible to the judge and mostly himself. Someone that bashes an ex like that on social media is a terrible friend to have. People start seeing the terrible side of him and his immature ways. Ignore it, copy EVERYTHING, then block him. Worked well for me.”
– Nichole S.

To Remember

It’s important to remember that just like in a criminal investigation, anything that you say can– and likely will – be used against you. This is especially true when a court is deciding how to award custody of children. If your Facebook wall is filled with images of you partying, chances are the court might take this into consideration. The same goes for if you use your Facebook wall as a way to voice concerns and your irritation about your ex-spouse’s short-comings. A court wants to know that you are capable of taking care of your children and being able to raise them in, ideally, a co-parenting situation.

Consulting a Therapist

If you really feel the need to vent your emotions, you might consider working with a therapist. They can help you work through feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, while also providing an un-judging ear. Best of all, everything is guarded under a patient-therapist agreement which means that they cannot share your feelings. This can be a great way to talk through your emotions without involving anyone else, while also receiving the emotional support that you might be searching for when you vent online.

Consult a Lawyer

As with anything regarding your divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, child visitation, etc… you should consult a family law attorney. A lawyer from the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA will be able to guide you through the divorce process. The Divorce & Family Law Offices of Divorce Law LA will provide you with the highest level of expertise and professionalism from our skilled attorneys. Our Divorce and Family Law Practice spans a wide spectrum of areas that include: divorce, high net-worth divorce, marital property division, child custody and visitation, and child support.

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550